COVID–19: Understanding Nigeria’s Fire Brigade Approach

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By Ajogwu Jerry Ochada.

The advent of inherent democracy modelled in admiration of developed societies in the world arrived the frontiers of Nigeria in the last days of the 20th century yet the prototype of development continue to appear on pages of white papers as blueprints and manifestos in the eve of ‘unfair’ elections.

There is no gainsaid that political offices in Nigeria is a lucrative podium to siphon public funds to the detriment of the poor masses who are often cajoled to repeat same mistakes of voting senile personalities at every poll where crumbs is punctured as bait to win their stomachs because there is untold hunger in the land.

The first case of Corona virus was recorded in December 2019, precisely in Wuhan, China. Without mincing words, it is now on record that the obvious negligence of Nigeria’s Federal Government permitted the virus to sneak into the country sometime in March 2020. The way and manner the country’s border remained open to all and sundry will remain a mystery and it further escalated the shaky scenario. The bigwigs pushed for the nation’s border to remain open while they anticipated the homecoming of their kinsmen and siblings who are resident in affected zones of the world to return before closing the widely attested porous border. It was a late decision and the resultant effect suffered in the aftermath is lucid even to the blind.

No doubts, Covid-19 is a global pandemic but its ugly arrival in Nigeria is as a result of nonchalant posture and irrational negligence of the superpowers steering the country in line with crooking personal interest and power disorderliness. There is a price tag to be paid for any aberration and Nigeria and Nigerians are presently paying for the penchant lackadaisical attitudes of the country’s rulers in mufti. 

In saner climes, education and health sector are properly monitored and funded because it is the fastest track towards national development aside science and technology. It is a statement of fact that health is wealth and healthy people equals a wealthy nation but the sneaky arrival of corona virus in Nigeria has exposed the shaming lapses of Nigeria’s health sector. It has further revealed the insensitivity of the government and relatively the governed concerning health consciousness – healthy living – by exhuming the decaying procedural breach of leadership trust as Nigerians continue to witness the ravaging crush of the dreaded virus.

Effects of the global pandemic is fast dwindling in developed climes but in Nigeria, figures continue to soar high as the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) continue to dish out daily numerical rockets in the face of heartbreaking disbelief and debates by pundits bothering on authenticity of recorded cases. Realistically, corona virus is real.

The virus as mentioned earlier, snaky arrived Nigeria due to negligence of power gamblers but the number of casualties and figures is however questionable. For instance, few weeks ago, NCDC officials were in Kogi State owing to the fact that the Confluence State is yet to record any index case.

The State Governor, Yahaya Bello insisted the officials be isolated and quarantined at least for two weeks but they took to their heels. What is NCDC hiding? Does it entails every State in Nigeria must record the virus? Who are those marketers hawking corona virus in Nigeria and who are the beneficiaries? These are poser that will be answered by key players in the health sector and corridors of power in no distant time.

The federal government should step up plans to revamp and build Nigeria’s health sector. The sector should be probed, closely monitored and empowered to function. This is the best time to prohibit medical tourism as future plans because for the first time in the history of Nigeria, the poor and the rich were isolated in same hospitals or isolation centres. It is a clear picture of sleeping on your beds the way you lay it.

Prior to the ravaging defects of corona virus, the health sector was paralysed simply because they were not patronized by the rich forgetting that death is a debt for all mortals. Today, karma is here and it has vindicated the equality of man. This calls for sober reflection and the urgent need for accountability in governance – a national revival beyond sentiments – because it is the only beacon of hope at this juncture.

Conclusively, fire brigade approach is not helping the illegitimate spread of corona virus in Nigeria. The nation is bleeding due to negligence as the country’s economy is suffocating but what lessons have Nigeria and Nigerians learnt from the outbreak of the virus and how prepared is the country aiming to combat the short and long-term effects? It is time for a critical revival of Nigeria’s health sector which was hitherto in comatose.

There is no nation in the world that has derived dividends from criminally inspired fire brigade approach in combating corona virus and Nigeria is not an exception.

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